About software, technology and random things


PDFCreator and (Adware!)


If you have recently encountered a weird behavior within your browser (I only know of Firefox because that's what I use), chances are that Adware has been installed onto your computer.

When I was looking for a picture on my own website and I mistyped the URL, I noticed that immediately after it showed me my custom 404 page, I was redirected to a domain called The URL was:[404URL]&type=404&ISN=[funkystring32]&ccv=130&cnid=302398&cco=US&ct=12

with [404URL] as the wrong URL. [funkystring32] seemed to be some kind of MD5 string (32 characters, 0-9, A-F), maybe a unique identifier.

After searching the internet for a couple of minutes, I read a thread on the official Avira forums. In it it was explained that PDFCreator comes with an Adware called "Search Settings Plugin" that installs and enables itself in Firefox. Luckily, being a normal addon, the problem was quickly solved from there: Tools => AddOns => Extensions => Search Settings Plugin => Uninstall/Disable.

I can only shake my head at things like this.

There has also been discussion on the official pdfforge (PDFCreator) forums about this:

Thanks to the people at the official Avira forums! Oh, and nevertheless, in all honesty: thanks to pdfforge for providing such a nice tool. I have the feeling it's gonna be of great help to me in the future 🙂